I have two political points for today:
1. I read that Congressman Dennis Kucinich lost to Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur in the race for the Democratic nomination in Ohio’s ninth district. I think it’s sad that redistricting put both of these fine leaders against each other, for I like them both. For one, both are solidly committed to the middle class, and they’re not afraid to stand up to special interests. And second, at least compared to other Democrats, they’re fairly pro-life on the abortion issue (though Kucinich has moved away from that). Marcy Kaptur will go up against Joe the Plumber. (Oh brother!) I’ve written about Marcy Kaptur and Dennis Kucinich in the past on this blog. See here and here.
2. I listened to Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity yesterday. Essentially, they were arguing that the Left is hypocritical to lambaste Rush in the name of civility, when prominent figures on the Left are themselves uncivil. Rush said that President Barack Obama laughed when Jimmy Hoffa, Jr. referred to Tea Partiers as “sons of bitches”, and when Wanda Sykes at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner expressed hope that Rush Limbaugh’s kidneys would fail. And Hannity reported that Bill Maher—-who has used derogatory terms for Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann—-has donated a million dollars to Obama’s super-PAC. Hannity asks if Obama will return the money.
I think that these points are legitimate. My impression has been that, when many liberals and Democrats are confronted with this information, they give the obligatory response that Bill Maher is also wrong to be uncivil. But do they then proceed to e-mail HBO and to tell it to take Bill Maher off of its programming, the same way that they have gone after Rush’s sponsors with a vengeance? I don’t think so. In my opinion, there is bias, and people tend to give a free pass to their own side for things that they condemn on the other side.
I said that I think that Rush and Hannity make a legitimate point. But is it a valuable point? And where exactly does it leave us? All it does is encourage more squabbling and us vs. them. Yes, life is unfair. I may be criticized for things that others get a free pass for. The people who criticize me may not even have the moral authority to do so, since their own lives are out of order. But I’m still responsible for my own actions, and it is my responsibility to clean up my own side of the street and to try to be as civil as I can.